EPA cracking down on Air Quality Violations

EPA Fining for Dirty Air

If you are a business, plant, whatever and have a lot of traffic/ trucks coming in and out of your lot stirring up dust then EPA might fine you as well. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the ARB (Air Resources Board) are working together in the fight for clean air.

The Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) is a federal law that passed in 1970 (last amended in 1990) for national air pollution control effort. The basic elements of the act include: hazardous air pollutants standards, state attainment plans, motor vehicle emission standards, stationary source emission standards and permits, acid rain control measures, stratospheric ozone protection, and enforcement provisions.

ARB mainly focuses on reducing emissions from a growing universe of emission sources which include: Mobile sources ex. commercial trucks, Goods Movement Sources ex. railroads, Gasoline, Diesel, and other fuels, and cargo tanks used to transport products, “Area” sources which individually emit small quantities of pollutants but collectively emit significant emissions, which include chemically formulated consumer products like aerosol coating products or indoor air cleaning devices.

The Air Resources Board also oversees air pollution control and air quality management districts in controlling air pollution caused by industrial sources, such as power plants. ARB’s regulation is the basic principle that the air quality goals can not be met unless compliance is achieved.

The Environmental Protection Agency comes and does some testing to see how the clean the air is, if it is not meeting the local standards the company will have to meet EPA’s recommendations. If they do not they will be fined.

EPA statement about Clean Air

Dust emissions are a public-health and environmental-health concern. Particles can settle in the lungs if breathed in and are associated with various health problems, EPA officials said.

The Air Resources Board continues to be the leader in the world development of innovative air pollution control strategies. This will help protect the public from illnesses caused by air pollution.

DiJulio Law Group


Mediation and Real Estate.

Most houses in Los Angeles are purchased using the California Association of Realtor’s form California Residential Purchase Agreement has. The Purchase Agreement provides that the parties will mediate disputes and this article explains what that means.

The Purchase Agreement at para 17 a (Mediation and Arbitration) states:

“Buyer and Seller agree to mediate any dispute or claim arising between them out of this Agreement, or any resulting transaction before resorting to arbitration or court action. …If for any dispute or claim to which this paragraph applies, any party (I) commences an action without first attempting to resolve the matter through mediation, or (ii) before commencement of an action, refuses to mediate after a request has been made, then that party shall not be entitled to recover attorney fees, even if they would otherwise be available to that party in any such action.

If there is between Buyer and Seller arising out of the Purchase Agreement the parties are obligated to go to Mediation before suing – in court or Arbitration. Arising out of means that it something that directly comes from the Purchase Agreement and is less broad than arising from.

First of all, you don’t have to GO to mediation you must OFFER to go to mediation. If the other side accepts that offer or makes the offer, you must go the mediation or suffer the consequences.


If you don’t go to mediation, you lose your right to collect attorneys fees, even if you win ths case. This means that you could win the case and lose money. In most cases, the loss of the right to attorneys fees, is a significant factor in the outcome of the case.

The California Courts have reiterated existing California law: “The new provision barring recovery of legal fees by a prevailing party who refuses a request for mediation means what it says and will be enforced.” The attorneys fees provision of the mediation clause “is designed to encourage mediation at the earliest possible time.” Moreover, “opponents accordingly are not entitled to postpone it until they feel that they have marshaled the strongest possible support for their positions in litigation and mediation.” The court also noted that there is a strong public policy in favor of mediation as a preferable alternative to judicial proceedings because it is less expensive and more expeditious.

Real estate parties and their attorneys should in most cases offer mediation first and accept an offer of mediation. Not only, does it gives both sides a chance to settle the case before spending thousands of dollars on their attorneys. In addition in the vast majority of cases, having the right to collect your attorneys fees is a key consideration. Even in a real Estate case for a two million dollar house, waving attorneys fees of $50 or $100,000 hurts.

Waving attorneys fees by an over anxious attorney may well result in a valid claim for malpractice. Before filing, offer to mediate.

For more information contact David DiJuliomailto:rdj@dijuliolaw.com Or contact the DiJulio Law Group: Los Angeles real estate attorneys with more than 35 years of experience. Call 888-519-1613 or email rdd@dijuliolaw.com.


What are the Consequences of Not Going to Mediation?

What happens If I don’t Go to Mediation?

When Does the Mediation Clause Apply?

The Mediation Clause.


What Happens if You Abandon Your Home and Let it Foreclose?

When you are facing foreclosure, it can be tempting to just give up and walk away from the home. Before abandoning your mortgage, you should consider the possible consequences of letting your home foreclose. Sometimes abandoning a house might seem like the best option, but foreclosing on your home often does more harm than good.

Besides losing your home and possibly having no place to live, allowing your home to be foreclosed will dramatically affect your credit rating and make it more difficult for you to qualify for a new loan in the future. There are also tax consequences of foreclosure that you should be aware of before you make the decision to let your home go into foreclosure.

So what happens if you abandon your home and let it foreclose? This article will help you understand what the consequences will be if your home ends up being foreclosed. It will also give you an idea of what to expect and offer some options for those who want to try to save their homes and avoid foreclosure.
The Effect of Foreclosure on Your Credit Rating
You may be wondering what happens to your credit with a foreclosure. You are probably aware that a foreclosure will hurt your credit score. How much it affects your score can vary, but keep in mind that every late payment will show up on your credit report. Also, when your home does go through foreclosure, an entry will be made in the section of your credit report that covers legal actions.

A foreclosure tends to affect your credit score more if you have very little other debts. If you have credit cards and car payments that are all up to date, this can help buffer the effect of the foreclosure on your credit rating. However, if you have few other items on your credit report, or those bills are also falling behind, the effect will usually be much greater.

The foreclosure and late payment record can remain on your credit report for up to seven years, but that doesn’t mean that you will be unable to get a loan for seven years. As soon as your financial situation improves, you should start making an effort to pay every bill you have on time. Many people find that after as little as two years of doing this, they are able to qualify for a new loan.

After going through a foreclosure, it is likely that you will need a large down payment next time you borrow money to buy a home. Your interest rate is also likely to be higher. Keep in mind that government programs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are unavailable to people who have had a home foreclosed within the past two years.

If your foreclosure was not caused by an injury or other unexpected circumstances that prevented you from being able to make your payments, perhaps you have issues with debt management that should be addressed.
Deficiency Judgments

One question that is asked often is, “If my house is foreclosed, can they make me pay?” In many states, the answer is yes. This is happening much more often now that it used to. The reason is that real estate prices have fallen, so it is much more likely that your home will be sold for less than the amount of the loan. If your state allows deficiency judgments, the lender can come after you for the difference between the amount you owed on your mortgage and the price the house sold for at the foreclosure auction.

Under California law Deficiency Judgments are generally not available. If the loan was made as part of the purchase then there is no possibility of a deficiency judgment. If the loan was part of a refinancing and the bank foreclose without going to court, then there is no possibility of a deficiency judgment.

However, if there is more than one loan, then the picture is more complicated. If the second forecloses first then the above rules apply. If the first foreclose first, then the second can file a lawsuit to try to collect on the second loan. In these situation, you should consult with us. DiJuloLawGroup.com

One thing many people don’t realize is that there is often a tax penalty that goes along with foreclosure. What happens is, if the house sells for less than the amount owed, the rest of the loan balance is considered “forgiven.”

The IRS looks at this as income because it is something you would have had to paid but are getting out of. As a result, you may be taxed on the difference between the amount you owed and the amount the house sold for. However, it appears that until the end of 2011, there are no tax consequences.

It is a good idea to talk to an accountant or tax lawyer about the possible tax consequences before you allow your home to foreclose.

Other Real Estate and Property
One thing people often worry about when facing foreclosure is whether the lender will be able to take other property and real estate that they own as well. Because real estate loans are secured by the property that is being financed, that property is usually all that the lender can take. However, if you specifically listed another piece of real estate as additional security when you applied for the loan, that property can also be taken.

When your lender forecloses on your home, your personal property is not included in the foreclosure. The lender has no claim on any property that is not permanently attached to the house.
Options for Avoiding Foreclosure
Instead of walking away from the house, it’s a good idea to contact your lender as soon as you start to have trouble making your payments to try to work something out. Many lenders have programs available to help homeowners who are going through short-term financial difficulties.

If it looks like you will not be able to work out a way to keep your home, some lenders will offer a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” or “cash for keys.” If you can get your lender to pay you to move out quickly and leave the home in good condition, that could help you pay the cost of moving into a new home. However, a deed in lieu of foreclosure usually has about the same effect on your credit rating as an actual foreclosure.

One alternative to abandoning your home is a short sale. Unfortunately, you need the bank’s cooperation to do it. When you sell your house in a short sale, the bank agrees to accept the amount that the house is selling for as full payment on the mortgage. Some banks will not do short sales at all, and those that do will make you jump through a lot of hoops and fill out tons of paperwork to get the sale approved. As a result, short sales are rare. However, if you can do it, a short sale is better that letting your house go into foreclosure.

A loan modification is an agreement between you and the bank that changes the terms of the loan. It is just about as hard to convince a bank to enter into a loan modification agreement as a short sale, maybe harder. If you pursue this option, it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney or loan modification company help you through the process.

As of December 2011, there is a new program for houses where the loan is owned by the government- Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If so, you can refinance at the current value of your house at a below 4% rate. See our blog on this< issue. You can check to see if your has qualifies on the links there.

Loan Modification

Short Sale

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

The Tax Consequences of Foreclosure

Deficiency Judgments Are Unlikely in California